LinkedIn buys SlideShare for $119m

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Business networking site LinkedIn has acquired the team behind popular content sharing platform SlideShare.

SlideShare - which allows professional users to create and host presentations, videos and PDFs online - was launched in 2006 and now has 29 million unique users a month.

LinkedIn paid $119m (£74m) to acquire SlideShare, saying it aligns "perfectly" with LinkedIn's mission.

A SlideShare app on LinkedIn was already proving popular with professionals. It is thought LinkedIn will now integrate SlideShare into its core site as it looks to improve its 'product'.

LinkedIn's current success - it has amassed 161 million global users - is based on the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook. However, unlike Facebook - where users connect with 'friends' (random and real-life) -LinkedIn's niche has been to focus entirely on professional networking.

As a result, the site has become a mainstay for professionals looking to move up the career ladder, make business connections or find new staff.

In fact, LinkedIn has become something of a playground for recruiters and service providers: it has made one-step transglobal headhunting a reality, whilst Internet marketing content can be sent directly to the inboxes of some of the world's most prestigious and connected CEOs.

The acquisition, confirmed by LinkedIn on May 3, cost $119m in cash and stocks (a split of around 45%55%).

LinkedIn said it was now looking to integrate SlideShare into its core site - giving professionals simple access to tools allowing them to create and share work online, whilst signficantly boosting the site's attractiveness to new users.

LinkedIn's CEO, Jeff Weiner, explained: "Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity.

"These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn's mission, and helping us deliver even more value for our members."

SlideShare CEO Rashmi Sinha, added: "We built SlideShare to help professionals share presentations and connect people through content.

"What we can build with LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Internet, is the most natural extension of this vision."

Shortly after announcing the acquisition, LinkedIn revealed its first-quarter revenue for 2012 - showing a 101% rise year on year.

LinkedIn's revenue for the first quarter was $188.5m (£116.5m), with income from the same period rising from $2.1m to $5m. More than half the total revenue comes from LinkedIn's "hiring solutions" unit, whilst display advertising revenue rose by around 73%.

LinkedIn floated on the stock market last year, with stocks worth around $45 at the start. They have risen by around 70% since.

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